KINGSTON, Jamaica - The annual exercise of paying tribute to, and recognising the invaluable service delivered by the cohort of Caymanas grooms was the usual pleasant spectacle, with sartorial elegance being a feature of the men who received the accolades.
Breeder, owner and philanthropist Philip Azar added more meaning to the occasion with welcome and much appreciated cash contributions for the honourees.
Featured as the ninth on a programme of 10 races, the 1,000-metre straight was the Grooms‘ Association of Jamaica Trophy, an event restricted to four year old s and older horses with less than three career wins, which received 11 declarations. David Lee Sin’s speedy sort Rambling Rose (7-1) led for over 800 metres. However, she was relegated to third when overtaken in the closing stages by the Richard Azan-trained near two-length winner Scooby (9-2) ridden by Tevin Foster as well as favourite Posing Already (8-5).
In the opener contested over 1,200 metres, Prince Dominick (3-2), owned and conditioned by Edward Walker, was having only its third outing since a nine-length triumph in April 2022. Still the seven-year-old grey gelding dominated proceedings from the top of the stretch to score by just under three lengths easing down with former six-time champion Omar Walker at the reins.
Race two was a runaway for second best fancied Joyful (7-5) with Javaniel Patterson keeping the Patrick Lynch-trained frontrunner mostly heavily restrained over the 1,100 metres but still arrived at the winning line eight lengths ahead of her nearest hapless pursuer.
Meanwhile, in the 1,200-metre third, 4-5 favourite Johncrowjeff (Robert Halledeen) saddled by champion and current leader Jason DaCosta was nearly three lengths the best.
Sprinting at odds of 14/1 in the 1,000-metre straight fifth event, Keffin Murray’s tough five-year-old mare Magical Mood gamed out victory by a short head for Andre Powell’s first of a riding double.
Power Of Faith, prepared by Donovan Plummer and ridden by Linton Steadman, went off at generous odds of 9-2 and fought hard to secure the major slice of the fifth race purse for the first finisher of the 1,000-metre straight exertion. In his previous race run at 1,400 metres, Power of Faith was in the lead 30 metres out but leapt a tyre mark which cost him second place at least.
Following the running of race six over 1,000 metres straight, even money favourite Lord Burkington made most of the running allowing Andre Powell to ride into the winners’ enclosure where trainer Gary Subratie awaited his arrival.
In the seventh, run at 1,100 metres, two-length winner Emperorofthecats (2-1), bred, owned and trained by Carl Anderson, enjoyed the competence of young and improving three-kilogramme claiming reinsman Ramon Nepare.
Steven Todd saddled three-old filly Aria’s Reign (10-1) who won the 1,100-metre eighth event in the hands of Raddesh Roman convincingly enough albeit by only two lengths.
In the closer of the 10 events, Blue Sky (7-1) declared by Michael Marlowe was nearly six lengths ahead of rival of here best rival with Tevin Foster doing the riding honours.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Carl Anderson for Emperorofthecats’s continued improvement confirmed by success in Open Allowance company with a game first effort and deliver the Best Winning Gallop with Ramon Nepare also claiming the Jockeyship Award.